Anaphylactic shock can occur at any age and in both men and women, but women seem a little more susceptible than men. Individuals with food allergies (particularly shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts) and asthma may be at increased risk for having a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. People at the ends of the lifespan are most at risk. To prevent infants and children from experiencing severe allergic reactions, pediatricians carefully plan vaccines and diet to limit the risk of allergic reaction until a child's immune system is more mature. Severe food allergy is more common in children than in adults, but diagnostic contrast, insect stings, and anesthetics are more common in adults than in children. Teenagers with food allergies and asthma may be at high risk for an allergic reaction because they are more likely to eat outside the home and less likely to carry their medications. Older people also have a great risk of anaphylaxis, and their risk of death is high owing to the presence of preexisting diseases. Ethnicity and race have no known effect on the risk of anaphylaxis.
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